Water Boy

Things that make me feel fancy these days include, but are not limited to: dishwashers (that wash your dishes!), counter tops, and running water – coming out of your fridge. I know, it’s like sci-fi out of this world, right? To me, I pretty much feel like I’ve been updated to Kardashian status, not going to lie. Growing up, we never had a water dispensing, ice making machine – and since Jay and I have been married, we’ve been in that same boat. Which, ya know, was actually totally good! We got along just fine without it! But folks, I’m thinking it’s like the day my great great grandma got her indoor plumbing. Once ya got it, there’s no turning back. 😉

Ice Ice baby.

So first things first, we had to move our hunka chunka fridge out, which was actually pretty simple since it’s got wheels up on the front of it.

Moving Fridge

My favorite part of this whole boon doogle was that it only set us back ten bucks for some ice cold, freshly filtered water. I call that a win.

Other than 10 feet of PEX (pictured later) this is what we needed for our little water install.

How to Install Water Line

Oh and this guy. We most definitely needed him as well. Here he is with his gear all ready to go into the crawlspace (fun!) to connect the lines. Snicker.

Installing Water Line in Crawlspace

But before we could get to that, we had to do some fancy footwork upstairs as well. Namely, we had to connect all our pieces together so that we could feed our PEX into the basement and have a finished line to feed the water into once we turned it on.

One upgrade we made with this install, was purchasing a shut-off valve for right at the fridge. For $5 extra, we both liked that it provide some peace of mind in the event of a water emergency. The last thing we wanted around all our brand new cabinets was a bunch of water leaking!

Shut of Valve on Water Line

Before we fed the PEX down into the crawlspace, we had to add a small hole behind the fridge so that we could access it.

Making Hole for Crawl Space

For this job, Jay used his favorite drill bit, which has a sharp screw on the tip, for extra biting power. 😀 Looks like a torture device, right?!

Drill Bit for Wood Floors

After that, we just had a few small connections to make and we were game on.

We had the PEX, which went down into the crawl space, the braided water line, which connected directly to the fridge, and the shut off valve, which sat at the floor as the final piece before the crawlspace.

Shut off Valve for Water Line

Here is a close up shot of Jay making the final connection, with the metal connector piece to attach the fridge line, to the braided line that will eventually sit right behind the fridge. We used a shark bite piece for this – super easy!

Connecting Water Line to Fridge

And then … the moment of truth was upon us. Jay fed the PEX line (the blue line) down into the basement and the cat and I waited on baited breath.

Installing Water Line

Malcolm was ha-larious. He heard Jay talking and scuffling down in the crawlspace and was well, pretty perplexed by the whole thing 😀

I think he thought the floors had eaten his daddy-o. 😉

Cat Being Cute

For how incredibly simple the upstairs component of this little DIY was, the downstairs component was considerably less pleasant. Jay can barely fit in our crawlspace, so seeing him awkwardly shimmy down there (amongst who knows what) made us both wince a bit. He told me he definitely can’t gain any weight if he’s going to have to pop back under there again!

Needless to say – this is as close as I got for Jay’s action shot. 😉 See that light shining way there in the back? That would be my husband. Thrilled as can possibly be.

Installing Water Line in Crawl Space

But the good news, y’all? Mission SUCCESS!!

We now have water coming out of our fridge – whatttt?!!!

Water Line for Fridge

80’s Oak – Just Say No

Well it’s not actually 80’s oak. It more like mid-90’s, and maybe it’s maple? But I really hate to inform you that it had to go. I wish I was happy with the cabinets as they were. I wish I didn’t feel the need to gut this room and redo everything. But I do. And that is a wee bit sad, since it turns out they don’t give new kitchens away for free. Bummer.

Here it is in the post-reno glory. So far in this room, we’ve really only painted the walls to get rid of it’s faux finish and we have been holding off for the bigger revisions. Until now. Dun-dun-duuunnn.

Light maple cabinets
Kitchen | Before

Right now the kitchen has a few notable areas that are low on the efficiency/storage solution side of things. First, there is the area in the corner. It’s a dead corner with no storage, just an empty little nook of nothing. Since our room is already super-duper-small, not being able to use this back corner is kind of an issue. When we plan out the space, we would like to be able to access this area, so we are hoping to find a cabinet that can multi-task back there for enhanced storage.

Unused kitchen corner
The No storage Corner

Another area that could ramp up the function factor a bit would be the cabinet above the lame duck corner. I totally love the look of a built-in, old school kitchen, so we are hoping to bring this guy all the way down to the counter in order to 1) optimize space and 2) make the kitchen look super fancy shmancy. This is the built-in look I am hoping for after we are all done in this corner. Sans the glass, since this area will most likely be our main storage for plates, etc. and let’s face it, my daily dishes are not something I want on display. 😉

Kitchen Built-in Cabinet
Kitchen Built-In

One thing I am going to miss about our new, redesigned kitchen is this little food storage area in the corner. Although it offers a pantry of sorts for us right now, the space is not designed quite right, so all our storage feels very hap-hazard and unplanned. I’m looking forward to chatting with a pro on it to see if they have any really good ideas on how to max out the space here a bit more.

Corner pantry storage
Kitchen Corner

We are also planning on re-configuring the oven space a bit. I’m not crazy about how the oven range pops out beyond the window frame currently. I’m also just not a fan of the oven in that location in general. So we will most likely move that along the wall where the pantry is right now, or to the fridge wall. Still waiting on a final consensus there. Ideally, I would like some cabinetry at this spot that stops right at the edge of the window trim, to create a bit more cohesion in the space.

GE Profile Gas Range
Oven Wall

And while we are at it, we figured that opening up the wall would benefit the space too – so – in addition to the new cabinets and appliances, we are planning on adding a foot or so on each side of the doorway to make the whole space feel nice, bright and open.

Busting open a wall – this is new territory for us, so although I’m pumped for the final result, I’m also not super excited about the whole getting there process. No gain with out a little pain. The wall next to the fridge will be opened up nearly to the cabinetry, adding about a foot of space on each side, which I think will help the room flow much better. The fridge we purchased for the new space is counter depth, so it will hug the counter by a few more inches, so it won’t be quite as close to the opening as the current refrigerator is.

Opening Kitchen Wall
Wall Opening

Overall, we are pretty excited to get this show on the road, but also a bit daunted by all that has to get done. Ripping out cabinets, opening doorways, redoing floors – it’s a lot on our plate. Each step gets us closer though, so it feels good to be headed down that road. Ask me again how I feel when I am covered in dust and feeling broke from all the costs associated with a kitchen gut and ya might get a different story. 😉

Just Commit Already

Now that the bathrooms are starting to wrap up around here – we have two more BIG projects in cue. The first is the kitchen gut and remodel and the second is the attic conversion to a master suite. Both are so daunting that we’ve just been dragging our feet on them. Plus, since they are more involved, they’re also more expensive, so all our hemming and hawing has given us a bit of time to add some cash to the reserves to actually PAY for them. :) For reference, here is a shot of the kitchen when we moved in. I think she was going for the wine and Tuscany type of look. :)

Kitchen | Before
Kitchen | Before

The cabinets in here are actually quite nice, and the kitchen even has granite counter tops – both are just terribly not our taste. We will probably craiglist the whole kit and caboodle. Never sold an entire kitchen before, so I’ll keep ya posted! 😉 Since we moved in, we made a few minor revisions to the space, most notably, painting over the faux finished walls and green trim. Now, it’s time to bring this space to the next level. So. excited! The absolute best part is, since the kitchen is so very small, the price tag is also a bit more manageable. Score. Overall, we are looking for simple lines, lots of function, and bright, white cabinetry and counters. Here is an inspiration shot – would love the rug, too!

White Kitchen
Kitchen Inspiration

The first step to the kitchen reno, was ordering the appliances. Since we can’t measure for new cabinetry until the appliances are installed, I knew that I had to get my rear in gear on this one and just commit already. Like any girl with a kitchen renovating dream, I had my eye on some top end Viking appliances when we first started looking. (Not) being the cook in the house though, my pure motivation was looks :) He he. Jay (of course) also liked the idea of the Viking set, but after we started searching around a bit, a few things started to sway us toward more affordable options.

First, the Viking fridges are actually made by Kitchenaid. Go figure. After looking around at all the fridges, we just kinda shrugged our shoulders and we were like. Yep, that one will keep my milk cold, too. We really became less and less keen on shelling out lots o’ similions for a fridge that was more or less, jacked up in price due to the name plate attached to it. After seeing Aubrey and Lindsay’s kitchen reno here, I was starting to become a bit more receptive to some other options as well. Namely the GE Cafe line.

Here is the fridge – love, love, lovely.

GE Cafe Counter Depth
GE Cafe Line | Counter Depth Fridge

And here is the gas range. We bought them both. :0

GE Cafe Gas Range
GE Cafe Gas Range

And…. here is the scoop on our search. Once we decided to nix the Viking line in favor of something more affordable – I started my search at Lowes. They are having a pretty awesome deal where if you spend $5.999 or more on appliances, you get a $1,000 Lowes gift card. PLUS we have our 5% cash back at Lowes this month (which caps out at $1,500 per card, for our two cards, an extra $150 back) AND there is a GE Cafe line rebate right now for $450 off if you purchase (3) appliances. Given these sa-weet deals, I had my oven, fridge and dishwasher all lined up and ready to go to purchase at Lowes. And then, I saw the total populate in the shopping cart. Yowzers. Granted, this did not include the $1,000 Lowes Gift Card OR the $450 in rebates, but still. That would be our initial out of pocket cost.

Lowes Shopping Cart
Lowes Shopping Cart

Being so reluctant to part with $7,000+, I thought I would do some quick online shopping around, just to see if I could snag a better deal. And snag a better deal I DID. Did you notice the capital D.I.D. Fo shizzle. Build.com, ya ever heard of it? Yeah – me neither but we are now BFF’s. They had this tricky little promo where they didn’t tell you the price until you put it in your cart. Before I put it in the cart, the oven and the fridge were like $200 cheaper each. So my $1,000 Lowes gift card, and $150 back in credit card rewards were still tipping the scale.

Build.com Shopping Cart
Build.com Shopping Cart

But then, a magic fairy came and sprinkled fairy dust on my shopping cart, and brought the prices down to $1,764 LESS than the Lowes options. And THEN I found a 5% off coupon online! Win-Win-Winning! And the extra good news is that our local distributor just happens to have a floor model available of the dishwasher, and that is marked down to $799 from $1,600. And THEN, we realized that there was free shipping with build.com, where Lowes was going to charge $100+ for deliver of each one. Sweet tamales, say it ain’t so Joe!

So the final breakdown is as follows for our new sweet fleet of stainless appliances.

  • Fridge – $2,124
  • Gas Range – $2,201
  • Dishwasher – $799
  • AND there is a $450 rebate
  • So the grand total is $4,673 

We plan on selling our appliances for a few hundred bucks, so that should knock the price down to right around $4,000. Since we were initially budgeting to spend closer to $10k on a Viking suite, this make me very, very happy! We are having these guys delivered in a week or so, and I couldn’t be more excited. Only downside is that this means we have to get crack-a-lackin’ on the rest of the kitchen reno. Exciting, but also expensive and daunting! I feel like we are on step 1 of 100 right now. Each step gets us closer, though!